Fan, R.; Wei, H., and Zhao, L., 2016. Linking suspended particulate material characteristics to the plankton distribution in summer in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea.
Identifying particle characteristics through in situ observations can be beneficial for understanding local sediment dynamics. This study analyzed the suspended particulate material (SPM) characteristics in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea, as well as the hydrological structure and chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentration in summer during a cruise conducted from 16 August 2013 to 31 August 2013. This study identifies two significant particle size (PS) peaks ranging between approximately 12 < diameter (d) < 63 and 280 < d < 390 μm, defined as small and large particles, respectively, by using the SPM PS spectrum. In the surface layer, the main part of small SPMs is composed of phytoplankton, whereas large SPMs are primarily dominated by mesozooplankton. High concentrations of SPM in the surface layer located on Subei Shoal and off the Changjiang River estuary overlap with the high Chl a concentration. High total SPM concentrations, maximum levels of Chl a, and large particle concentrations were observed in the pycnocline in the central Yellow Sea and at the middle shelf of the East China Sea. The high SPM subsurface concentration is primarily influenced by plankton, particularly mesozooplankton. Small particles are dominant in the bottom layer and consist mainly of inorganic particulate matter.